JW’s Financial Coaching Podcast JW’s Financial Coaching Podcast-A show devoted to answering your personal financial questions and covering current events in personal finance. Giving people a new perspective on their money!

March 20, 2017  
00:0000:00
  • Continuing our series on lessons learned from coaching clients
  • What happens when we attempt to do several things at once with our money
  • The power of focus with our money
  • Why I love the Baby Steps so much
  • Quote of the lesson from George Horrace Latimer

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Problem

When it comes to the way we handle our money most of us are trying to manage it the best way we know how. I rarely run into someone who is just flying by the seat of their pants when it comes to how they handle money.

However a lot of us are trying really hard but feel stuck in our current situation. That leads to feelings of frustration, embarrassment, and shame that we can’t figure this whole money thing out.

The Cause

Now there is no one size fits all solution to everyone’s problem. But I have noticed that a lot of times we feel stuck with our finances because we’re trying to do ten different things at once. That is the reason why we feel stuck and hopeless.

Some common examples of the many things we are trying to do include

Now after going through the list, you’ll notice those are all good things to be doing! In fact I encourage you to do all of those things. But it is really hard to do all of those simultaneously and impossible to get all of those done at once.

That’s because money is finite. It’s hard to get traction when you are doing a little bit here and little bit there. You never see any wins or improvement and getting wins is a big key in getting the momentum necessary to keep going.

It also leads to not being very consistent with your money as you are constantly jumping from one money fire to the next. This easily leads to you becoming derailed in the pursuit of your goal.

The Solution

Rather than do ten things at once, I coach people to step back and reflect on what's truly important in the moment and focus all your attention on that one thing.

By focusing on one thing at a time you are going to see improvement in that area right away. That will keep you motivated to continue to pursue it. It will also lesson the time you are actually doing that goal and soon you’ll be able to move on to the next item on your list.

There is an incredible power to having your money focus solely on one or two main goals. We often think slowing down and doing just one thing at time doesn’t help out. But there is actually a multiplier effect when a singular focus is present.

Baby Steps

That’s why I love the baby steps so much. It sets clear guidelines on what to focus on and in what order. In case you aren’t familiar with the baby steps here they are in order.

  1. Save $1,000 in an emergency fund
  2. Pay off all your non-mortgage debt using the debt snowball method
  3. Save 3-6 months’ worth of expenses in an emergency fund
  4. Begin to invest 15% of your income into retirement
  5. Save for your children’s education fund
  6. Pay off your mortgage
  7. Build Wealth

You start with saving $1,000 as your first goal. You don’t do anything else with any extra cash. You don’t pay any extra on your debt, you don’t invest, and you don’t go on vacation. You save $1,000.

Then you pay off your debt, one at a time. You don’t still don’t invest, go on vacation, or save up a down payment on a home. You put all your extra money on your smallest debt. Then the next smallest debt, and on down the line until you are debt free.

Now are you going to be doing just one thing with your money for the rest of your life? No, eventually once you are debt free and have an emergency fund that is when you can do things like invest in your retirement, save for your children’s education, and travel.

We have good intentions when we try to do 10 different things at once, we really do. But that is not the way to get control of your money. It’s a good way to get frustrated and become frustrated.

Today's quote of the lesson is brought to you by the JW's Financial Coaching Newsletter

“He who buys what he does not need, steals from himself" ~George Horrace Latimer

Enjoyed this lesson? If so, please consider taking a few minutes to leave a review of the show either in Stitcher SmartRadio, or iTunes. For a step by step video of how that works, please watch this video on how to leave a review in iTunes.

You can subscribe to future podcasts through Stitcher SmartRadio or iTunes, Google Play or by downloading the iPhone app. Or you may listen to the podcast on the JW's Financial Coaching Facebook Fan page.

March 13, 2017  
00:0000:00
  • Continuing our series on lessons learned from coaching
  • How are decisions impacts our future
  • Why it is hard to look forward in our instant gratification culture
  • What our options will look like if we make these decisions today
  • Quote of the lesson from Nathan W. Morris

 

 

 

 

 

Yes we’ve all heard how our decisions today impact our future. But in our instant gratification culture it’s hard to look ahead and make decisions for tomorrow while seemingly hurting our ability to enjoy life in the present.

But our decisions today do impact our available options for our future. Today’s lesson we are continuing with our podcast series on lessons learned in coaching by sharing where this is an issue, why we put certain things off, and why ultimately we should do them today rather than later

The decisions we tend to want to put off

There are a lot of examples that come up when I’m working with clients and they are pretty broad issues but here is a list of the common ones.

  • Taking control of our finances-realizing the impact money has on our life
  • Doing a monthly zero based budget
  • Paying off debt
  • Starting to invest
  • Starting a side hustle

Why we put them off

We put them off because we look at our life how it is today, instead of how it will be 10 years from now. Chances are your life will look different from either a family, friends, career, or lifestyle perspective.

We also put them off because currently we might not have much in terms of assets to manage so we don’t take control of our finances.

We might be scraping by on $20,000 or $200,000 (seriously) and don’t think we have any extra money, so why bother budgeting?

Our debt might not be impacting us because the minimum payment is “comfortable” and everyone else has debt.

Maybe we can only afford to invest $50 into our 401(K) a paycheck so why bother as it won’t add up to much?

We’re so busy so we never get that side hustle off the ground.

Why do it then

How will doing this then give us future options? It will in a variety of ways:

It will start to develop habits that will last a life time and those habits will lets us take control of our finances. This will enable us to weather the storm during life events such as marriage, children, job loss, etc. It will also open doors to more success and those habits will allow us to handle the bigger success.

The decision to pay off our debt now, instead of later, will allow us to prosper which in turn will stop us from going further into debt in the future.

When we invest for our future, we look up and one day we actually have money in our account that gets our attention. That money in turn continues to get greater and then we’re able to put ourselves into position to live the retirement we want to.

Having ownership in an asset that creates income either passive or normal, like from a side hustle gives you a variety or career and income potential.

There will always be a reason to put off something. Your age, relationship status, children or no children, income, too busy, etc.

But instead of finding reasons why not to do something, instead make a financial decisions today that might not improve your life next week. But will make your life easier, less stress, help your spouse or family, and give you more options in the future.

Other resources mentioned in the show:

Today's quote of the lesson is brought to you by the JW's Financial Coaching Newsletter

“Everytime you borrow money, you’re robbing your future self." ~ Nathan W. Morris

Enjoyed this lesson? If so, please consider taking a few minutes to leave a review of the show either in Stitcher SmartRadio, or iTunes. For a step by step video of how that works, please watch this video on how to leave a review in iTunes.

You can subscribe to future podcasts through Stitcher SmartRadio or iTunes, Google Play or by downloading the iPhone app. Or you may listen to the podcast on the JW's Financial Coaching Facebook Fan page.

March 5, 2017  
00:0000:00
  • Continuing our series on lessons learned from coaching
  • When to cut out retirement savings
  • What to do with the money instead
  • Why the key word is TEMPORARILY
  • Quote of the lesson from Mark Twain

 

 

 

 

 

Every time I suggest it to a client, I get a weird look from across the table or there is an awkward pause on the other end of the phone line.

Them-You want me to cut back on retirement?

Me-Yes I do

Them-But what about my age? The match? Compound Interest?

Me-Don’t worry it is only temporary and you’ll more than make up the lost interest gained, match, and contributions in no time.

Today’s lesson in the lessons learned while coaching series is about cutting  back on retirement temporarily to reach goals. This lesson is a little different than the first two in the series because investing for your retirement is a good thing. That is why I get weird looks from people when I suggest that they do it.

Now I don’t recommend you do it 100% of the time, but on certain occasions I do push the suspension of retirement contributions issue.

When?

Typically the only reason why I would temporarily postpone retirement savings is when you have a special financial goal you want to accomplish and you are going to be super focuses on completing that goal.

Basically the money must be used for good, not for life style inflation, self-indulgence, or making yourself look good. It’s when you are going to use every dollars not put into investing and instead put it towards you goal.

With that being laid only, I recommend that when you have debt (excluding your mortgage), to halt any retirement contributions and instead put that money towards your debt.

That is regardless of how much your employer matches, how old/young you are, or if the market is hot or not.

Why?

With that being said I still get funny looks and comments like “You mean stop ALL retirement savings?” Which my answer is yes.

It’s a tough thing to do because we’ve been told that we need to save diligently to have enough money for retirement and that in our country a lot of us are under prepared in that area. Also by stopping retirement you’ll lose out on the power of compound interest and you’ll also miss out on the match.

While I can’t argue any of those points, because they are true, I can try to shift the focus a big. I do believe that the power of being out of debt supersedes retirement contributions.
What I’ve found is that by being focused on one singular task you are able to get that task done better and faster than if you are trying to do three other things at once.

Also by getting control of your money and paying off your debt you’ll more than make up for the temporarily loss of compound interest and the company match by having more money to invest in the long run.

My recommendations

I look at this as a two year thing. Often if you are super focused and intense on paying off your debt, you can become debt free or close to being debt free in two years.

So if you stop funding your retirement and take ALL that money and put it towards your debt, not using that money for lifestyle you will gain control of your income.
Now with that being said you need to be serious about it. If you are ‘kind of” going to get out of debt, then it probably isn’t worth it.

But what if you have a ton of student like student loans and it is going to take your longer than two years. Would you still recommend holding off on retirement savings? The answer is yes, I would give it two years and see where that takes you. If you are still a long ways off then I might consider starting contributing to retirement to get the company match. But no more than that.

Bottom line is that investing is important, but so is being debt free.

Other resources mentioned in the show:

Today's quote of the lesson is brought to you by the JW's Financial Coaching Newsletter

“The secret of getting ahead is getting started". ~ Mark Twain

Enjoyed this lesson? If so, please consider taking a few minutes to leave a review of the show either in Stitcher SmartRadio, or iTunes. For a step by step video of how that works, please watch this video on how to leave a review in iTunes.

You can subscribe to future podcasts through Stitcher SmartRadio or iTunes, Google Play or by downloading the iPhone app. Or you may listen to the podcast on the JW's Financial Coaching Facebook Fan page.

February 27, 2017  
00:0000:00
  • Continuing our series on lessons learned from coaching
  • Learning the impact of what debt does to our life
  • The normalization of debt in our culture
  • Actions to take the realize the impact of debt on our life
  • Quote of the lesson from Publilius Syrus

Part of the job of a coach or mentor is the ability to shed light on an area or issue that needs to be improved upon.

The Impact of Debt on our Lives

One of the common areas I get to shed light on when I’m coaching with clients is the impact of debt on that individual or families life.

It’s very rare that I work with someone who has no debt what so ever. Often the client knows how debt is impacting their lives but that isn’t always the case 100% of the time. Sometimes I work with clients who don’t realize how much stress, negativity, and financial loss their debt is costing them.

On today’s lesson I’m going to continue with a series I started last lesson on lessons learned in coaching and today’s topic is about the impact debt has on our lives.

Part of the reason why we don’t realize how much our debt is impacting us is because debt itself has become so normalized that often we can’t imagine life without it.

The problem with that line of thinking is that if we think debt is normal, we’ll never look for ways to get out of it and instead use debt as a way of life.

How it Impacts Us

But debt does have an impact on our lives. Some more so then others and most of the time debt is negative. Debt impacts mostly through the following five ways

  1. Pre commits future income
  2. Increases the amount we have to cover for our “needs”
  3. Reduces our options
  4. We’re paying interest, not earning it
  5. Opportunity cost

Recommendations to Better Understand and Quantify the Impact

With that being said what do I recommend people do to realize the impact of debt in their life?

First I recommend you take the time and sit down and write down your down. Every single one. If you have 13 different student loans, break each one out. Then list them smallest to largest as you’ll use the debt snowball method to eventually pay them off. Often when you write down your debt you get that “ouchie” moment of realization instead of having a general idea of your debt floating around in your head.

Second, then take all your debts and add up the monthly payment amounts. Separate the mortgage debt, if you have any, from your non-mortgage debt.

Next determine how much interest you are paying a year. A good quick and dirty way it to take your latest statement from Dec of the previous year and it should list the total interest paid. If you want to be more advance, take that total and divide by 365 to determine your daily interest charge.

Finally doing the three steps above should give you a better idea of how much your debt is impacting you. You can then ask yourself the question what you could be doing instead with that money each month. It is every eye opening to see how much money is going out each month and how much interest you are paying a year and it can be a good motivational tool to pay off the debt.

Other resources mentioned on the show:

Today's quote of the lesson is brought to you by the JW's Financial Coaching Newsletter

“Debt is the slavery of the free".“ ~ Publilius Syrus

Enjoyed this lesson? If so, please consider taking a few minutes to leave a review of the show either in Stitcher SmartRadio, or iTunes. For a step by step video of how that works, please watch this video on how to leave a review in iTunes.

You can subscribe to future podcasts through Stitcher SmartRadio or iTunes, Google Play or by downloading the iPhone app. Or you may listen to the podcast on the JW's Financial Coaching Facebook Fan page.

February 19, 2017  
00:0000:00
  • Kicking off a new series
  • Getting on the same page with your spouse on your finances
  • Why this is important to do
  • Why it is initially hard, but worth it in the end
  • Quote of the lesson from Dave Ramsey

Back when I first started the show, I would group a lot of shows together and do a series on them. I love doing series because the shows have a similar theme and they build upon each other. If you look through the archives of the show you will see a variety of series I’ve done in the past.

But it hasn’t been something I’ve done recently, until now. Today I’m starting a series on lessons learned in financial coaching.

As someone who has been doing financial coaching for seven years now, I’ve noticed several reoccurring topics or themes that pop up when working with clients or talking with potential clients.

What I’ve realized is that if there are constant themes with clients, then odds are the other people are experiencing the same issues and have the same questions.

Today we start off with working together with your spouse on being on the same page financially. I choose this one first, because if you are currently married or are thinking about marriage one day, and you can’t solve this issue it doesn’t really matter about what you do for the other issues. The thing is that our money issues are probably due to a result of not being on the same page financially

What typically happens is one spouse contacts me about possibly working together. This spouse is usually the one who is “in charge” of the finances, and things aren’t going 100% well for any variety of reasons.

There is no communication with their spouse on money. It’s not necessarily that they disagree and fight all the time, although often that can be the case, but rather that there isn’t any communication to begin with and each partner is doing their own thing.

This is an issue because it is very difficult to do anything in marriage if one person is doing their own thing, doesn’t know what is going on, or is up to one spouse to do it. This not only is with our money but also in other areas of our marriage such as faith, family, housework, etc.

The thing is that I think a lot of couples get into this predicament because initially in a marriage you can “get by” without being on the same page. However once you start to earn more money, your lifestyle increases, you have children, buy a bigger home, and your children get to college the more your lack of togetherness is exposes.
Now it’s going to be hard to do something different, especially if you have never done it before. Also as a warning, if you try to talk to your spouse about money and you never have had serious conversations about it before, your situation will probably get worse before it gets better.

However, IT IS WORTH THE EFFORT!

I always tell people that these changes are good for your marriage, not just your money. By working together and beginning the conversation you will see great changes in your marriage. Now you might have some apologizing of confessions to make, but if you share why you want to change and work together, not just the what, you will start to experience a breakthrough in that area of your marriage.

Granted, this won’t be easy at first, but if you sit down, be open and honest, and see where your money is going it will be eye opening to both of you and allow you to dream again

If you want change to occur this must happen. Doing the same thing you’ve always done and expecting a different result isn’t going likely to happen.

More resources I have done on this topic:

Today's quote of the lesson is brought to you by the JW's Financial Coaching Newsletter

“One thing that is always more expensive than a good system is not having a system at all." ~ Dave Ramsey

Enjoyed this lesson? If so, please consider taking a few minutes to leave a review of the show either in Stitcher SmartRadio, or iTunes. For a step by step video of how that works, please watch this video on how to leave a review in iTunes.

You can subscribe to future podcasts through Stitcher SmartRadio or iTunes, Google Play or by downloading the iPhone app. Or you may listen to the podcast on the JW's Financial Coaching Facebook Fan page.

February 13, 2017  
00:0000:00
  • Answering listeners questions
  • How to ask for a balance transfer
  • What the biggest issue is with your debt
  • Should you take vacations while in debt?
  • Quote of the lesson from Rory Vaden

When I first started the show back in 2010 one of the things I set out to do was to answer listener’s questions on personal finance issues.

It’s part of why I got into coaching in the first place, to teach and help people in their situation. Well on today’s lesson I get back to that a little as I’ve been looking around on Facebook and on other money forms and have found a few questions from real life people I’d like to answer. I want to answer them today because they are questions I receive often when coaching or talking with people about their money.

First Question-Balance Transfers

The other day I decided to do a balance transfer to a 0% card. My card I am transferring from has a balance of $2048 the new card only approved me for $1000 @ 0% for 15 months. Any suggestions on how to proceed with the payoff since I will still have a balance on the old card? Is it possible to contact the new card and request a balance transfer increase? What are the odds that would work?

Balance transfers are quite popular when trying to get out of credit card debt. For those who don’t know, balance transfers are when you transfer part or all of a balance on an already existing credit card to another card via another company.
This is done because credit card companies typically offer low introductory interest rates which allows you to pay off the credit card faster, in theory. Credit card companies offer these to 1.) Get your future business 2.) Get your money by you hopefully not paying off the balance.

You can always call the credit card companies and ask to increase your limit on a balance transfer as it never hurts to ask. You might need to make multiple phone calls until they bend however. Another option is to do another balance transfer with another credit card company.

As to how to pay these off, assuming these are your lowest debt on your debt snowball, you have gone from one credit card with a $2,000 balance to two credit cards with a $1,000 balance each. I would pay off the credit card with the interest rate first, before going ahead and attacking the other one.

I say attack, because the problem I see often with balance transfers is that by moving your credit card debt to a zero percent interest credit card, people often feel a sense of accomplishment. They shouldn’t!

The debt still exists though! You really didn’t do anything, and that is the problem with debt. Interest rate is *NOT* the problem. The actual debt is the problem! As I’ve mentioned before I’m not against balance transfers in general, but I’m against them as a way to get out of debt. Because simply moving your debt to a lower interest rate is not removing the debt.

Other resources I’ve done about balance transfers

Second Question-Taking a vacation while in debt

When paying off debt what's recommended for taking vacations?

This question comes up a lot in different varieties when I work with clients. The premises of this question is do I have to wait to be debt free before I can have fun? Or can I have some fun now?

Let’s be clear hear, there is no clear cut *right* answer to this question. It all comes down to what are your real priorities? What do you value more, a vacation or anniversary gift? Or getting out of debt?

From my point of view, vacations aren’t a right, they are a luxury. For some of you, you might not agree, but because I have this view point I’m can’t recommend taking a trip while in debt. I believe this because I’ve been debt free myself for many years and have seen and talked with others who have been the same and I see what being debt free means to your life, not just your finances.

The sacrifice is worth it, I know the feeling of being debt free is better than the feeling of going on a vacation, and the short term pain is worth it for the long term gain.

Another way to answer this question is to ask yourself the following question-would I borrow money to go on this vacation? If the answer is no, then what are you essential doing by going on vacation while in debt? You are borrowing to travel.

Ultimately the choice is up to you, and it depends on a variety of things including debt level, income, and what you are prioritizing. But I would only consider doing this if I could save the money to do so. No way would I recommend traveling on a credit card, home equity loan, stop contributing to retirement, or depletion of emergency savings.

Other Resources mentioned in the show on this topic:

If you would like your questions answered on air, please send them to me at Jon@JWFinancialCoaching.com

Today's quote of the lesson is brought to you by the JW's Financial Coaching Newsletter

“One thing that is always more expensive than a good system is not having a system at all." ~ Rory Vaden

Enjoyed this lesson? If so, please consider taking a few minutes to leave a review of the show either in Stitcher SmartRadio, or iTunes. For a step by step video of how that works, please watch this video on how to leave a review in iTunes.

You can subscribe to future podcasts through Stitcher SmartRadio or iTunes, Google Play or by downloading the iPhone app. Or you may listen to the podcast on the JW's Financial Coaching Facebook Fan page.

February 6, 2017  
00:0000:00
  • What financial risk is . . . and isn't
  • How we took a risk with our health insurance
  • Why we were able to take that risk
  • Reasons to get your financial house in order
  • Quote of the lesson from Tony Robbins

When I use the word "risk" associated with your finances what comes to mind?

Do you think of putting all your money into one investment that could go boom . . . or bust?

Do you think of quitting your day job on a whim to start a business with no money in savings?

Those are indeed risk, but risk in our finances doesn't mean all or nothing. We face risk each day when we invest in the stock market. The stock market could lose value tomorrow.

When we buy a home, their is risk in the house dropping in value or becoming a money pit. (For more info on how to buy a home the right way please check out the book I wrote A Tale of Two Houses.)

The thing is that it is almost impossible to avoid any kind of risk with our finances. Yes there is the possibility of losing money when it comes to taking risk, but there should also be a chance at reward as well.

On today's lesson I share why our family took a "risk" with our health insurance this year and share how we are able to do it in the first place.

Health Insurance enrollment

Like most of you, our open enrollment for our health insurance benefits at my company occurred in late October/early November. Typically when it comes to that time, I usually just go in, select the same coverage we had last year and see how much the coverage increased.

Instead though I looked through all of our health care plans options and an interesting situation arouse. Typically we have gone with a high deductible plan which has a Health Savings Account (HSA) attached to it. The deductible is $3,000 with a 80/20 co-pay after that up to a maximum out of pocket amount of $6,000. The monthly premium was $274.96 or $3,299.52 a year.

However I noticed that there was another high deductible option with a $5,000 deductible with a 80/20 co-pay after that with a $10,000 maximum out of pocket. But the monthly premiums for this plan was only $63.55 a month or $762.60 for a whole year. The difference in monthly premiums was over $211.41 a month, which translated to a savings of $2,500 on an annual basis!

But of course that also involved more risk. So what did I do? I ran the number of course. In addition to the premium difference, my employer also contributes an amount into our HSA each January. The amount was $800 for the $3,000 deductible plan and $300 for the $5,000 plan. I counted that as a deduction to annual premium because that money covers the first medical expenses you have for the year.

 

 

 

That was the upside, but what about the downside? Well taking the numbers above, I then ran some scenarios on our medical expenses for the year. Below is what I came up with:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Basically as long as we didn't have $20,185 in medical expenses for the year we would come out ahead and our total exposure to loss was only $1,963 and that is if we had the medical expense year from hell. But on the plus side if he had our normal medical expenses per year (non counting labor and delivery years) we could come out ahead $2,000 a year.

Ultimately we decided to take the risk and go with the $5,000 plan and take the difference in premium and put it away in our HSA that way we were paying ourselves the difference instead of the insurance company.

Why we took the risk

But the point on today's show isn't about changing your health insurance coverage. It's about why we were able to take the risk. We were able to take the calculated risk because we're debt free, we have an emergency fund, we have money already in our HSA in case we had a medical emergency, and we know what our money is doing.

Ultimately we're taking a slight risk. Yes we could have multiple emergency rooms visits or one of us might need surgery this year. But odds are we won't and the reward is worth the risk.

The bottom line is that winning with money allows you to take more calculated risks in health care, investing, and in our career. It's just simply another reason to get our financial houses in order.

Other Resources mentioned in the show

Today's quote of the lesson is brought to you by the JW's Financial Coaching Newsletter

“Don't think in terms of taking huge risks to get rewards. Think about the least amount of risk for the greatest reward, and be extremely disciplined in that." ~ Tony Robbins

Enjoyed this lesson? If so, please consider taking a few minutes to leave a review of the show either in Stitcher SmartRadio, or iTunes. For a step by step video of how that works, please watch this video on how to leave a review in iTunes.

You can subscribe to future podcasts through Stitcher SmartRadio or iTunes, Google Play or by downloading the iPhone app. Or you may listen to the podcast on the JW's Financial Coaching Facebook Fan page.

January 24, 2017  
00:0000:00
  • In what ways debt free people think differently about money
  • The demographics of those who are debt free
  • Why giving plays a big role in those who are debt free
  • How you can help confirm my observations
  • Quote of the lesson from Wayne Dyer

 

When I first got into paying attention to my finances one of the first books I ready was the classic Millionaire Next Door by Dr. Tom Stanley. What I loved particularly about this book was the research Dr. Stanley did on real life millionaires. Not just athletes and entertainers. You really got insight into how millionaires think about earning, saving, and spending money.

Since then I’ve read other books by Tom Corley and Steve Siebold on how the wealthy think vs. the non-wealthy. Also there are books and research out there on how entrepreneurs think vs. traditional employees.

But today we are going to focus on how debt free people think. I focus on being debt free because that’s how Lisa and I live when it comes to our finances and after interviewing those who are debt free and coached with people on becoming debt free I’ve come to the realization that in general they seem to be doing better with money than most.

On today’s lesson I’m sharing some observations I have had about debt free people and how they view money. In addition I also share how I’m doing some research to help confirm these observations and how you can help.

The good news about looking at those who are debt free is that pretty much anyone can fall under that heading. You can be young or old, make a great income or make a little income, or be married or single. They can also have a lot of children but also have none. They can live in any part of the country, be of any race, ethnicity, or religion. But to me there are four main areas where debt free people think differently then those who are not.

  1. They have an idea of where there money is going
  2. They are prepared for emergencies
  3. They are continuous learners
  4. They are big givers

Debt Free people know where their money is going by having a budget they review and stick to each month. They also have financial goals and review them at least once a year to see how if they have accomplished those goals. They have a great sense of where their money is going each month which allows them to have a knowledge of how each financial decision they make impacts their finances.

They are also prepared for emergencies. Debt free people face fewer true financial emergencies because they are prepared for them to happen. If an unexpected expense does occur they simply have the money in their emergency fund to cover the cost. Know there is a chick or the egg debate on which comes first, having an emergency fund or becoming debt free, but those who are debt free very often have money in an emergency fund.

Continuous learning is also a big part of the thought process of those who are debt free. Whether it is books, podcasts, blogs or other medium, those who are debt free are always those who continue to learn in different areas of money. These areas might include thinks such as investing in stocks, investing in real estate, starting a small business, how to make more passive income, ways to cut your cable or grocery bill, better ways to budget, or how to cut expenses to pay off their mortgage sooner.

Finally giving plays a huge role in the lives of those who are debt free. They don’t become debt free just to be able to save and spend more on themselves. They do it so that they can then bless others in causes that they believe in.

There are a lot more ways that debt free people think differently about money but those are for another podcast. But those are my observations and would you be willing to help prove out these observations?

I’m currently conducting research for my next book project and want to know your thoughts on debt and money.

It’s a 9 question multiple choice survey and should take only a few minutes to complete. Please consider taking it no matter if you are debt free or not. Your opinions matter and will help validate the research either way.

The survey is 100% anonymous but depending on your answers you might be contacted for a followup survey as well which we’ll need your email for.

Please visit JWFinancialCoaching.com/Survey to participate and thank you in advance for your help. I’ll be using the research for at least a future upcoming webinar and hopefully can use the data for a new book release.

Other resources mentioned in the show:

Today's quote of the lesson is brought to you by Audible.com

“If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change." ~ Wayne Dyer

Enjoyed this lesson? If so, please consider taking a few minutes to leave a review of the show either in Stitcher SmartRadio, or iTunes. For a step by step video of how that works, please watch this video on how to leave a review in iTunes.

You can subscribe to future podcasts through Stitcher SmartRadio or iTunes, Google Play or by downloading the iPhone app. Or you may listen to the podcast on the JW's Financial Coaching Facebook Fan page.

January 16, 2017  
00:0000:00
  • Why goals work
  • How to create SMART goals
  • The power of writing your goals down
  • Where to determine what your goals are in the first place
  • Quote of the lesson from Earl Nightingale

Goal setting is something we’ve discussed on the show before around this time of the year. It’s a good time to talk about financial goals because usually at the end of the year most of us are reflecting on what we’ve accomplished the previous year and look ahead to what lies ahead in the next one.

With that being said you might not be a big goal setter and you start to roll your eyes whenever you read or hear someone talk about goals. But I believe in setting goals because for me they have

  • Helped Lisa and I achieve what we’ve wanted to financially
  • Allowed us to dream together
  • Propel us to things we didn’t think were possible!

But goals aren’t magic, you still have to do the work to achieve them. A lot of times we don’t reach our goals because they are too vague. Goals like I want to do better with money, I want to save more, I want to spend less, contribute more to retirement, reduce debt, aren’t likely to get achieved.

So instead of doing that this year, today we discuss how to create goals that are S.M.A.R.T. I didn’t come up with the acronym but making S.M.A.R.T goals for our family has really helped out.

S-Specific. Goals needs to be precise and leave no doubt. Instead of saying “I want to lower my spending in 2016” change it to “I want to lower my spending on groceries, eating out, and utilities in 2016”

M-Measurable. Goals need to be quantifiable to succeed. Instead of saying “I want to save more in 2016” change that to “I want to save $100 a paycheck in 2016.”

A-Actionable. This is always a tricky one. You have to create a goal that is reachable but also a stretch. If you make it too easy, you’ll more than likely procrastinate on it and then barely achieve your low goal.

R-Realistic-You have to be willing to do the work. If your goal is to pay off all your debt his year, but to do that you’ll have to work 100 hours a week, live in the dark, and eat two meals a day you won’t accomplish that go. Because you won’t see it through. There is a level of sacrifice of either time, energy, or money when it comes to reaching your goals however.

T-Timeline. Expected results need to have a timeline. We don’t like to have deadlines but for most of us we work better when we do. Instead of saying “I want to pay off my student loans in 2017” change it to “I want to pay off my Salie Mae Loan #1 by the end of February.” That will force you to put your energy and money into Salie Mae #1 and you are more likely to pay it off in February.

In addition to having goals that are S.M.A.R.T it’s important to write them down as well. Don’t ask me why but when I write things down they are more likely to happen then not. I’ve also created an easy to use worksheet that has you write down your goals, determine the cost, and develop the action steps needed to accomplish them.

Also if you need help determining what your goals should be in the first place check out this short 10 video series I put together a few years back on taking control of your finances. The video are supposed to be consumed daily and feature small actionable steps to take to gain control of your money. They were designed for the year 2015 but apply to any year you do them in.

But what if you are listening to this after the beginning of the year. Can you still use these strategies? Of course you can, goal setting can happen at any time! It’s easier at the beginning of the year as January 1 is a good starting point for a fresh start. But it doesn’t have to be a certain date, you can start your goal journey at any time.

Below are some more resources on goal setting

Today's quote of the lesson is brought to you by Audible.com

“People with goals succeed because they know where they're going" ~ Earl Nightingale

Enjoyed this lesson? If so, please consider taking a few minutes to leave a review of the show either in Stitcher SmartRadio, or iTunes. For a step by step video of how that works, please watch this video on how to leave a review in iTunes.

You can subscribe to future podcasts through Stitcher SmartRadio or iTunes, Google Play or by downloading the iPhone app. Or you may listen to the podcast on the JW's Financial Coaching Facebook Fan page.

January 3, 2017  

Thank you for your interest in purchasing the audio version of A Tale of Two Houses-Our journey of buying a home the right way after buying one the wrong way

I’m excited to release the audio version of A Tale of Two Houses and have included 10 bonus enhancement chapters, including:

  • Renting vs. Buying
  • Is a House an Investment or a Liability?
  • Three Things to Consider Before Buying a House
  • Where to NOT Get a Down Payment From
  • Seven Creative Ways to Come Up with a Down Payment
  • Getting Ready to Sell Our House with Guest Lisa White
  • We’re In Contract! With Guest Lisa White
  • Getting Ready to Move with Guest Lisa White
  • Wrapping Up the Whole Home Buying Experience with Guest Lisa White
  • The JW’s Manifesto on Money

The total time of the book is 4 hours and 50 minutes including the bonus enhancements.

(Get it FREE on Audible with a 30-day Free Trial)

To purchase through Podbean click on the “Buy single Episode Now” button at the top of this page. After purchasing the episode you can download the episode to your computer and use it as your leisure.

Currently the price to purchase A Tale of Two through Podbean is $6.99, which is the lowest price you’ll find it.

However, if you want to purchase it through iTunes, Amazon, or Audible to use through their interface you can do so as well.

You can also get the book free by becoming a member of Audible. Visit JWFinancialCoaching.com/Audible to sign up for your 30 day free trial.

(Get it FREE on Audible with a 30-day Free Trial)

In addition you can purchase the digital copy over at Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

Thanks for purchasing a copy of A Tale of Two Houses!

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